That’s what a sly fox would say isn’t it? pic.twitter.com/PfKMTiNHoR
— J.W. Verret, JD, CPA/CVA (@JWVerret) November 25, 2022
The MetaMask browser extension wallet uses a node called Infura. That node is owned by ConsenSys, the same company that develops MetaMask. The press release reminded users that Infura collects the internet protocol (IP) addresses and wallet addresses of users who connect their MetaMask wallet to Infura. It also reminded them that MetaMask users don’t have to use Infura, which is only a default, and that MetaMask allows connection to other public node providers such as Alchemy or Ankr.
When you send or receive crypto, your wallet interacts with the blockchain. But wallets don’t download the blockchain; that’s too cumbersome for a wallet on your phone. Instead, when your crypto wallet sends a transaction, most wallets use a public node to request that new transactions be added to the blockchain via the mempool.
(You could set up your own node. In fact, for better privacy and speed, you probably should. More private nodes also mean a more decentralized network. But I’ve tried and I don’t have sufficient technical skills to do so. Maybe you will have better luck.)
Now, let’s remember that blockchains like Ethereum aren’t private. If you want privacy, you need to use a privacy coin like Monero (XMR), which leaks some information about the sender, or Zcash (ZEC)-shielded transactions, which leak no sender information. Or you need a privacy tool, but unfortunately, the government-sanctioned Tornado Cash was previously the most reliable privacy tool on Ethereum.
Regardless, if you are using a public node or any other central service to transact in crypto, you need to use a virtual private network (VPN) or Tor (easy to use with the Tor browser) to mask your internet service provider (ISP) address. Is anyone out there using Ledger Live to transact in crypto using your Ledger hardware device? Ledger Live tracks…